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The state of Hawaii for 22 years paid workers compensation benefits to a dead man amounting to nearly $400,000.
The daughter of the deceased Kauai resident has been indicted by a federal grand jury for collecting the money after forging his signature, Hawaii News Now reported.
Edwins Callison, who died in 1990 in California, was injured while working for the Kauai Humane Society and began collecting workers comp benefits in 1976.
According to the indictment, his daughter, Redlands, Calif., resident Lynsie Williams, allegedly collected Mr. Callison’s benefits by forging his signature on documents verifying his workers comp eligibility.
Hawaii lawmakers said the state, which discovered the fraud after conducting a random audit, should have uncovered the problem long ago, according to news reports.
“It is unfortunate that this was undetected for so long but when we discovered it we immediately addressed the issue and the steps taken should prevent any reoccurrence of this kind of fraud from happening in the future,” state Labor Department Director Dwight Takamine told the Hawaii News Now.
According to reports, Ms. Williams could not be reached for comment but is expected to plead guilty next month when she will appear before a federal court.
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